carmilla: Rimmer and Lister in their respective bunk beds. Caption reads 'Bunkmates' (Rimmer/Lister)
[personal profile] carmilla
SUMMARY: A little bit of ‘what if?’ based around Back To Reality.

They’d never said anything.

Living together in such close proximity, there was a lot that went unsaid, one way or another. Lister never said, “Most of the wardrobe’s yours, but the corner with the sock basket in is mine.” Rimmer never said, “No playing your guitar when I have a hangover,” (although to be fair, the chances of Rimmer having a hangover and Lister not having one too were practically nil).

And they’d never said, “This isn’t actually normal, is it? For two straight blokes to live together the way we do? Look at each other the way we do?”

And maybe Lister would have laughed it off – he would definitely have tried to – but arch-cynic though he was, especially about human nature, Rimmer was oddly certain of his eventual response. It was just there, this strange thing between them; he could feel it.

He hated to think of the amount of alcohol they would have had to consume to make that conversation possible, but as Starbug hurtled towards the cliff and imminent death, he found himself wishing that they’d done it nonetheless.


Still shaking from the shock of the impact (for he was not a man who could face death, even virtual death, with equinamity) Rimmer attempted to stand, and stumbled. A warm hand grasped his wrist, steadying him. At first he couldn’t quite believe what he was feeling, but then Lister’s other hand closed over his, and squeezed. A reassurance – or a promise?

“I’m not a hologram.”

It was all he could think of to say. But at that moment, Lister’s eyes met his with something like wonder, and all the things they’d never said thickened the air between them. Their hands were still touching. Soon, their grip promised. Soon.


Rimmer – no, Billy – was beginning to feel thoroughly miserable, and not even the way Lister’s (not-Lister’s) knee kept pressing his own was helping. To have escaped existance as one complete no-hoper only to be forced to become another one within minutes! It was quite intolerable. Still, Lister (whoever Lister was now) looked well off. Perhaps, if they were really going to – well, anything could happen. He couldn’t help the twinge of envy he felt, though, and was quite enjoying the beginning of another tirade against Fate for having denied him the life he wanted once again, when Kryten brought him up short.

“William, meet your brother: Sebastian.”

He carried on speaking – something about a urinal? – Rimmer (Billy?) didn’t really hear. He was too busy schooling his features into an expression of disgust (not too difficult) while his mind raced. What he’d been thinking – well, they were just thoughts. No law against thoughts, was there? He was confused; his memories hadn’t returned. Nobody could hold an amnesiac responsible for what he was thinking before he recovered – he was ill, wasn’t he?

As List- Sebastian’s eyes met his, shock plainly written in them, he thought desperately, well, no real harm done.

They’d never actually said anything, after all.